From humble roots to Creative Experience Agency of the Year

From humble roots to Creative Experience Agency of the Year

Smyle launched in 2003 and has always been rooted in delivering activations based on powerful ideas and bold creativity.

From its humble roots as a production company, Smyle quickly evolved into an experience-focused creative agency, with a passion for innovation, developing additional in-house services to evolve its offering to clients.

Rick Stainton, group executive director, Matt Margetson, innovation director, Dominic Thomas-Smith, managing director, and Andrew Dawson-Wills, operations director, formed the launch team.

In 2018, co-founders Stainton and Margetson sold a majority stake to private equity firm Rockpool after growing overseas sales to £16m.

The affectionately titled “Fab four” remain actively working in the agency day to day and are hugely passionate about its long-term future.

Over the past few years, the agency has continued to focus on evolving, which has included further developing its strategic and creative resource, significant investment in digital and building out its content offering.

Keith O’Loughlin joined as chief executive in January 2019, with strategy director Dax Callner joining shortly after. Ambitions were high and the agency reported strong growth across 2019-20.

Smyle’s continued success in 2020 has centred on its innovative approach to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the majority of live events for 2020 being cancelled or postponed.

In response, the agency delivered several digital products. It fast-tracked the development of its “Beyond” platform, its approach to digital/hybrid experiences, which enabled the agency to help clients switch to highly creative digital experiences with ease and at speed.

It also launched “Metric”, an experience measurement tool, while the formation of its D-Lab team drove technical innovation and digital creativity. It has developed a plan to drive the agency and its clients to a more sustainable future.

The pandemic highlighted the responsibility Smyle has in creating a socially conscious agency and it is focusing on how it can play its part in various areas across sustainability, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion.

The Smyle team also reached out across the industry as founders of the One Industry One Voice coalition, leading the #wecreateexperiences campaign to raise a unified voice in response to challenging times.

Although the past 12 months has been an incredibly challenging time, Smyle also found the period to be one of great energy, innovation and opportunity. As a business, Smyle has dialled into its core creative strengths to innovate solutions for the new demand, developing new ways of working, creating imaginative content and delivering award-winning digital experiences for its global clients.

Smyle is the Campaign Experience Awards 2021: Creative Experience Agency of the Year.

Smyle caught up with Campaign following yesterday’s virtual ceremony to discuss the win. Check that out here.

Published: April 2021